One episode of The Office that talks about injustice and ethnic identities would be season 1 episode 2 called Diversity Day. In this episode, Michael, the branch manager, decides that he wants to hold a diversity day to talk about diversity in the workplace with his employees. Michael addresses several issues with stereotypes of people from different ethnicities, however, he does not go about them in the best ways. He creates a game of headbands and each person is wearing a different ethnicity, the game does not go the way that Michael intended. He confronts Kelly who is Indian and starts speaking to her in an Indian accent, then Kelly slaps Michael. Michael realizes that this was not a very good idea.
Although this show does not properly discuss stereotypes and ethnic identities, it does show how hurtful these stereotypes can be to someone who is from that ethnic group. From the episode, it is clear that Kelly took great offense to Michael talking to her like that, so she slapped him. I think that this can be compared to Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of One and the Other. I believe that in this scene Michael views himself as the One and impersonates an Indian person as the Other, and when Kelly hears how Michael makes Indians sound, she is hurt by it. I believe that it is hurtful to call somebody out as the Other and make fun of who they are.
This show is meant to be a mockumentary sitcom, which is very comical, however, this is a very sensitive topic to be joking around with. I think that the creator of the show wants the viewers to think about the importance of diversity by asking the following questions. Were Michael’s actions an appropriate way to discuss ethnic identities? Is making fun of or copying someone’s accent rude and hurtful to that person, or is it funny? Were Michael’s ideas of a diversity day an effective way to approach the topic of diversity and talk about injustice and ethnic identities?
Hi, my name is Mitchell Bachman I ‘m a second-year health science major. On this segment of Yo, is this injustice, I will be addressing several diary of systemic injustice posts that I have made, I will compare these to each other and how they relate back to this class.
The first injustice that I’d like to talk about is the unemployment rates between African Americans and white Americans. Over the last 15 years African Americans have had a higher unemployment rate than white Americans. From 2011 2019 and there’s a noticeable trend downward meaning that more people have jobs. However, there’s a large spike for both groups once the pandemic and hit. This is an example of a systemic injustice because it shows that African Americans are more likely to be unemployed which can lead to a number of things. Meaning that they’re unlikely able to purchase a house or the wants that they’d like to have in life. They’d only be able to purchase the necessities to survive. Unemployment rates are an example of the one-to-one concept, where white Americans are considered the one with a lower unemployment rate. Where African Americans are seen as the other because they have a high unemployment rate.
Alright, and then another injustice that I’d like to talk about would be income rates for African Americans and white Americans. From the shirt, we can see that white Americans make $18,000 more than African Americans in 2018. Since 2002 to 2018 on average white Americans have made at least $15,000 more than African Americans. It comes no surprise that African Americans are living in poverty because they cannot afford the housing that white Americans can afford. This is another picture that I want to talk about. It talks about the poverty rates. On this chart, we can see that the median household income in 2018 was $28,900 difference between the white Americans and African Americans and the poverty rate was 12.6% difference between the two. This has been a popular topic of discussion for quite some time, white and African Americans can have similar jobs, but they are not paid the same based on the color of your skin. There’s been a lot of social change over the years, however, African Americans have never received equal pay for the job that they have. This chart shows the trend of the constant difference in pay. I believe that this relates back to the master slave dialect topic that we talked about earlier in the semester. White Americans are the master and African Americans would be the slaves in this relationship. Meaning that white employees make more money, because they are valued more by companies that African Americans. One book that could relate to this type of interests, this would be Persepolis. In Persepolis, we were introduced to Mehri who was Marji’s family’s maid. In the story, we see that Mehri becomes infatuated with the neighbor boy. Marji then tells her family and when her father found out he went and talked to the neighbor boy. Marji ‘s Father tells him that Mary pretends she is my daughter, but in reality, she is my maid. Marji father tells Marji, that in their country, you must stay within your own social class. I believe that this relates to the income and poverty differences in America. Because the social class that you were born in is likely, the social class that you will stay in because of the unfair difference between white and African American income and poverty rates.
The next and justice that I’d like to talk about is healthcare. I found that African Americans do not receive the same health care that white Americans receive. African Americans experience illness at extremely high rates and have a lower life expectancy compared to other racial and ethnic groups. African Americans are also the most economically disadvantaged demographics in this country. I believe the African American have the lowest life expectancy because they are unable to pay for the proper care that they need. Which relates to African Americans not receiving equal pay as white Americans. Although most people have health insurance, 20% of African Americans have Medicaid which is for lower income, and the elderly, and disabled. Medicaid is a decent insurance for people who cannot afford private personal medical insurance, but they do not cover all medical expenses. It is extremely unjust to offer a necessary lifesaving service to someone only to have them declining it because of their insurance does not cover it and it would cost them too much to pay for it. I believe this is the example for one to the other topic that we talked about in class, ahh meaning that the whites are the one and they receive the best health care because they have a higher income rate. And African Americans are the other, because they do not receive equal care and do not receive that equal pay to pay for the proper medical care that they need.
The next topic for injustice that would like to mention is racial profiling. Over just over a year ago we experienced the black lives matter movement, which was protesting racial profiling among law enforcement. I’ve learned that 38% of all state prisoners are African American. African Americans are incarcerated at a rate that is 5.1 times greater than white Americans for someone to be arrested, they must have done something illegal, but there are instances were, this is not the case. African Americans face the highest lifetime risk of being killed by police. There are still racist police in the world and profile all African Americans to be criminals. Although police brutality and arrest of African American has decrease over time there’s still exist an injustice in America to African Americans by law enforcement and I believe that this is another example of the one to the other because the white law enforcement is not fearful of white citizens and racist police officers are fearful of African Americans who are viewed as the other. And even viewed as criminals and thugs, which is the reason why they have been racially profiled by law enforcement.
The last injustice that I’d like to talk about is education, this is an injustice that is new to me, I have not personal experienced this, because I come from a small town and went to a small school. And I have found this fact on Ben and Jerry’s website, which is funny because they make ice cream, but it was on a page for systemic racism. And Ben and Jerry’s points out that 95% black children to constitute 18% of preschoolers nationwide and they make up for nearly 50% of suspensions. Now that fact is just for preschoolers saying that half of all preschoolers that are suspended are African Americans. Another interesting fact on Ben and Jerry’s was that among all age groups in school black students are three times more likely to be suspended then white students even when their infractions are similar. This is what I find the most surprising African American students are getting suspended three times the amount as white American students for similar infractions. That is not right! Children go to school to learn to get an education, but African American students get suspended for similar actions as white students. I believe that this shows the school system as prejudice and racist. And that there should be more action against this injustice. This has clearly been going on for a long time and it’s time to put an end to it. Again, I believe that this is an example of the one to other topic. White children or the one and African American children are the other. African American students are mistreated and suspended at a higher rate than the white children because they’re viewed as the other. As this continues on through school. It can lead to other problems for African American children. In reality, this could lead to problems.
That is all that I have on this segment of yo, is this injustice, I hope that you enjoyed it remember to like and subscribe for more content.
Marvel Studio’s “Black Panther” addresses the topic of race “head-on with the issues affecting modern-day black life” (Smith). Marvel has taken issues from African society and America and made a movie addressing the issue. The issue is “about what it means to be black in both America and Africa” (Smith). In America, African Americans have had a long and rough history. It all started after being kidnapped from Africa and brought to America as slaves. As time went on, society in the northern states was against slavery, which brought on the civil war. After being freed from slavery, many African Americans were still forced to work for former slave owners because of the discrimination they faced from other white Americans. Fast forward to today, we have just experienced the Black Lives Matter movement protesting over one of the biggest issues that African Americans face today which is police brutality. “Structural racism has been and continues to be the primary impediment to upward mobility for African Americans throughout the country. This form of racism explains how race and racism permeate both public and private institutions to create unequal outcomes in all facets of life” (Ajilore 2019). African Americans have faced and continue to face issues based on their race. Another struggle that African Americans face is living in poverty. “The movie opens with a bunch of kids playing basketball in a poor neighborhood, and their basketball net has been replaced by an everyday basket, further emphasizing the poverty in which they live” (Trieu 2018). The movie shows bits and pieces of the struggles of being black in America. “Black Panther” also address the issues that African’s face in their society. One big issue that is focused on is their want to aid and support other black people who are facing struggles based on their race. “the biggest take-home message that “Black Panther” brings is political: it promotes global cooperation” (Trieu 2018). Although, “Africa is typically thought to contain only third-world countries,” in the movie Wakanda is wealthy and questions its involvement in non-African societies (Trieu 2018). Many countries in Africa face this issue, they feel that it is their duty to provide their support to other black people who are facing injustices in their own country. Just because “Black Panther” is a fictional movie does not mean that it does not serve a purpose. The movie is made to show “What it means to be black in both America and Africa” by showing the struggles of black people around the world (Smith).
Ajilore, Olugbenga. “3 Ways to Improve the Outcomes for African Americans in the Rural South.” Center for American Progress, 6 Aug. 2019, www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2019/08/06/470913/3-ways-improve-outcomes-african-americans-rural-south/.
Smith, Jamil. The Revolutionary Power Of Black Panther: Marvel’s New Movie Marks a Major Milestone. time.com/black-panther/.
Trieu, Cat. ‘Black Panther’ Shows Social Issues through Science Fiction. 9 Aug. 2018, www.utdailybeacon.com/arts_and_culture/entertainment/black-panther-shows-social-issues-through-science-fiction/article_1af7d136-14f6-11e8-821c-5b6604767e71.html.
I would like to look at and compare income rates between African Americans and white Americans. At the beginning of 2018, Business Insider made charts showing the per capita income of African and white Americans. From the chart on the left, white Americans made at least $15K more than African Americans. With white Americans making more money on average compared to African Americans, it comes with no surprise that more African Americans live in poverty. In the chart on the right from Business Insider, they compared median income to poverty rates. African Americans do not make as much as white Americans, and that is why more African Americans live in poverty. This has been a topic of discussion for quite some time, white and African Americans can have similar jobs, but they are not paid the same based on the color of their skin. There has been a lot of social change over the years, however, African Americans have never received equal pay for the jobs that they have. On the chart on the left, the trend shows a consistent difference in pay. This could relate to the master-slave dialect topic that was discussed earlier this semester. White Americans being the master, and African Americans being the slaves of the relationship. This means that white employees make more money because they are valued more by companies than African Americans. One book that could relate to this type of injustice would be Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. In Persepolis, we are introduced to Mehri who was Marji family’s maid (Satrapi, 43). In the story, we see that Mehri becomes infatuated with the neighbor boy (Satrapi, 45). Marji then tells her uncle about this and then word spreads to her father who went to talk to the neighbor boy. Marji’s father tells him “I know that Mehri pretends she is my daughter, in reality she is my maid” (Satrapi, 45). Marji’s father tells her that “in this country you must stay within your own social class” (Satrapi, 46). This part of the story relates to the financial income and poverty rates that happen in America. Using the two charts, from the past to present we can see that the social class that you were born in is likely to be the social class you will stay in because of the unfair difference in income between white and African Americans.